Having always considered communisism to be the beginning of the left end of the spectrum, and fascism occupying the further point on the right, I was bemused, befuddled, bedazzled, and bedeviled by Frenchy's assertion that Hitler was a leftist. After all, "Hitler" and "Fascist" have long been held synonymous in the public mind. So I hauled out my Merriam-Webster dictionary and found the following definitions:
Left: "Those professing views usually characterized by desire to reform or overthrow the established order especially in politics and usually advocating change in the name of the greater freedom or well-being of the common man."
Right: "Individuals sometimes professing opposition to change in the established order and favoring traditional attitudes and practices and sometimes advocating the forced establishment of an authoritarian political order."
By these definitions, one cannot say simply that communism is left, while capitalism is right. There must be an intention behind the advocacy of these two economic systems, and that intention, not the system itself, is what should be determined to be either left or right.
According to the definitions above, then, and coupling them with historical experience, I think it is fair to say that both Hitler and Stalin were right-wingers, whereas Marx and Keynes were left-wingers.
Right-wing communists and left-wing capitalists, freedom versus tyranny. Which side are you on, boy?
McSpotlight: Reposted from the Anything Else room at MDG's request.